March 31, 2009

Making a Complete Flash Game: Overview & Planning

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Written by: Par
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By popular demand, AsGamer is ready to start a new series dedicated to developing a flash game from the ground up. We’re talking everything: the preloader, the menus, the game, game over, highscore, all that.  Now of course, we may take advantage of some already developed systems. For example, we’ll probably use MochiAds LeaderBoard to setup our highscores. However, by the time this series is complete you’ll be able to go through all the steps to create and spread your flash game around the web.

Okay, this stop in the series is simply to figure out what we are going to develop and how we want to go about making it. So let’s figure out what we are going to make.

Part 1: What kind of game?

When I decided to do this tutorial, my first thought was we need to make a solid game, maybe not a great game, but definitely something worth playing.  I don’t want to write a 15 article series that thoroughly explains everything but gives us nothing useful in the end. But at the same time, I really don’t want to spend forever explaining how to make a detailed game like Gemcraft, Mastermind, or Sonny. So we’re going to make a sniper shooter type game.

A beautiful example of the type of game you can make with what we are going to learn in this tutorial is Mort the Sniper. Not exactly Mort the Sniper but… if you can’t make Mort the Sniper by the time we are done it won’t be because this tutorial didn’t explain it.

Part 2: Development Cycle

I’ll be bluntly honest with you. When I create a flash game, I never start out making the preloader, the menu, and the other window screens first. I usually start writing the core of the gameplay, get it relatively stable, then I move on to developing the menus. This works great but means I’ll have to backtrack in the end and change how I set things up.

The biggest thing that causes an issue is the preloader and our actionscript classes.  We’ll discuss the problems and the solutions in the first real tutorial of the series, but make sure you pay attention, because when you start developing your game you’ll need to remember how to set things up.

Part 3: A list of topics will discuss

Here’s the core of what this series will discuss:

  • Creating a self contained single file preloader for our single file game. (This insures that we will be able to package the game and distribute it to flash portals)
  • Creating a pregame sponsor roll. (Shows the sponsors and creators of the game before the game is playable)
  • Creating a menu screen with 3 important links, Play Game, Credits, More Games.  (If you get your game sponsored, sponsors always want a more games link that shoots back to their website)
  • Playing the game with multiple levels, game over, highscore.
  • Integrating a highscore system such as MochiAd’s Leaderboard.
  • And likely adding in game advertisement so you can make money off of your game.

Okay, that’s all for now. I know, nothing too exciting… yet! We’ll kick this series off very very soon. So keep an eye out for it.

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About the Author

Hey! Don't be surprised, I'm a flash developer. While Flash is definitely one of my favorite languages to develop in, most of all I just like making games. If you want to see the games I've developed so far head over to my website, DigitallyBold, in the link below. If you want to know more about what I'm working on now and in the future be sure to follow me on twitter.


  1. Naminator_X_

    Can’t wait your next great tutorial. Keep up the good work mate. I already have learned a lot by your beginner as3 tutorials but this is whole new level :)

  2. Ryan

    this is my favorite site on the ‘net. can’t wait for this!

  3. ST

    Can’t wait!!!


  4. Ryan

    although, wouldn’t a side-scrolling platform game be a bit more flexible? i feel like it would lend itself to more individualized customization… just a thought

  5. Par

    Maybe. But this isn’t about making a platform game or flexibility in your engine. It’s about wrapping up a complete game with preloaders, menus, and ui. And a sniper style game is a lot easier to work with because of it’s simplicity. I want to focus to be on wrapping up a complete game but at the same time I want to make a complete game. An avoidance game or a sniper game are the two easiest ways to pull this off. And since I’ve seen avoidance games done a few times, I figure I’ll try the sniper route.

  6. I’m so glad that someone as talented at teaching others as you decided to get into actionscipt in the first place, you’re tutorials are amazing! I can’t wait for this one, it looks like it’s going to be good :)

    I’ve got a question tho, when you say levels, do you mean difficulty levels, levels in the game, or both? Figuring out different difficulty levels shouldn’t be to hard to code it seems, but how to balance easy vs. hard modes would be a good topic.

    Keep up the awesome work!

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